New players arriving in Fayetteville
First, there was Eric Shaffer. On Tuesday, the Fayetteville Bulldogs welcomed another speedster to the squad: Jonathan Morton. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, think in terms of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the early 1970s. Morton, a junior transfer from Hamburg, is the son of two-time All-Southwest Conference tailback Dickey Morton. Arriving from Hamburg, Morton left a 2-8 club that competes in the 8AAA Conference. Morton's size (5-foot-8, 145 pounds) is an issue in the bigger, badder AAAAA-West Conference, but his speed and bloodline indicate to FHS coach Daryl Patton that "where there's a will, there's a way." Morton's first day as a Bulldog was celebrated with 102 other players on the practice field — in the rain. "We may have to play in the rain some this year so it was good for us to get out in it and practice working with a wet football," Patton said. Patton and his staff took the Bulldogs out on the wet practice turf of Harmon Field for a 2 1 / 2-hour workout Tuesday morning. The rain did little to hamper the workout and Patton came away pleased. "I'm very happy with the kids," Patton said. "They gave good effort and worked hard and hustled around and, especially in these kinds of conditions, they did all we can ask of them." The Bulldogs installed half a dozen running plays and a couple more passing plays, Patton said. "The kids picked up on it real well. They're learning the offense and the defense worked on pursuit, running to the football and worked on stunts, blitzes and things like that." Tuesday's agenda included a meeting with the team members' parents. Besides allowing the parents an opportunity to ask questions and meet the coaching staff, Patton said the purpose of the meeting was to "go over some of the rules and expectations of the kids and the things we want to do for the players as coaches." " They're the basic rules of any program, "Patton said. Fayetteville's rule on the football field will be to run faster than its opponents. Patton's eyes sparkled when he talked on Monday of the arrival of his newest speedster, Morton." He's not real big, "Patton said." He's a little guy, but he can sure scoot. " Patton foresees an offensive set that could have Cedric Logan, Ben Tschepikow, Shaffer and Morton running circles around secondaries. " I tell you what: We caught the ball real well today, "Patton said." When we put our first group out there with [Spencer] Shackelford, Ben Tschepikow, Cedric and Shaffer, we looked very good. "We threw Morton in there a little bit and that group's as good as any around. We've got a lot of speed and some playmakers in that group." Today, Patton plans to shift several of those receivers to the defensive side of the football for secondary work. On Tuesday, John Michael Davis, Brent Phillips and Tristan Thomas worked on the defensive side and will come to the offensive side this morning. With Logan and Morton — a lockdown corner according to sources — patrolling the secondary, opposing passing teams may be in for some trouble. "I'm definitely hoping we can do something to stop the passing games we'll be up against," Patton said, "but when you play these great passing teams like Springdale, Fort Smith Southside, Rogers and Russellville, you just have to hope you can contain their passing games a little bit." Morton and Shaffer have also been joined on the current FHS roster by two other Shiloh Christian transfers. Stephen Konz (5-11, 190) is a junior two-way lineman and Ryan Salsbury (5-8, 145) is a sophomore who was listed in the Saints' spring roster as a fullback and linebacker.
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